And Then There Were Nine: Ninth Tree Dead Around Washington Square Fountain Over Three Years

second time tree dies in location by the Arch
oh dear…
Previous tree, Last August

Since the Fountain Plaza was redesigned in 2009 and existing healthy 40 year old trees were axed so the Fountain could align with the Arch (sort of), nine young trees have been planted and subsequently died. The latest tree, located right near the Arch, hadn’t looked healthy for awhile and at last succumbed (pictured above). A tree died in this same location last August. Here is a recap from this blog on August 17, 2011 when the previous tree alongside the Arch died:

I’ve previously reported on the young trees dying repeatedly around the Washington Square Fountain, this tree (pictured above) now makes tree #8. Over the last two years, trees have been replaced by the Parks Department and died 3x in two locations around the fountain; a new arborcidal incident occurred on the western side just recently. Now this — the fourth location lining the fountain to exhibit a dead tree.

These events were forecast by a landscape architect I encountered back in August of 2009 who predicted ALL the trees around the fountain would likely die and attributed this to the design.

These young (now dead) trees replaced perfectly healthy living trees which were 40+ years old, axed because they got in the way of the Bloomberg Administration’s plan to move the famous fountain 22 feet east to align with the Arch at Fifth Avenue.

The reality is that these aren’t the only dead trees dying at Washington Square Park. North, South, East, West, Perimeter, Within – trees are dying all over at the park.

What can be done to stop the New York City Parks Department from committing this arborcide?

Note: In late September of last year, the Parks Department told WNBC-TV’s Chris Glorioso that they were studying the issue and conducting tests but it didn’t sound as if they planned to do anything differently despite expert advice isolating what they were doing wrong (that they continue to ignore).

Why will this agency in charge of our city’s trees not do the right thing? Is it political as I surmised (based on information from a source) at the onset?

Previously at WSP Blog:

July 11, 2011: Why do the Newly Planted Trees Around the Washington Square Fountain Keep Dying?

July 15, 2011: Arborcidal Design for Fountain Trees — Will City’s Parks Department Address This at Last?

December 10,2009: Two of Seven Newly Planted Trees that Line the Fountain have died — Is the cause the design?

Photos: Cathryn